Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan will collect $85,000 a year, but in a little more than a year his pension will shoot up to nearly $150,000 a year.
State lawmakers have significantly abused and underfunded their own pension system. Ending it would be a plus, but only a constitutional amendment will stop pension debt from swallowing Illinois.
Illinois’ broken pension system puts $100,000 a year or more into the hands of 62 former state lawmakers. It has paid more than $1 million to 94 of them.
Across all five state retirement systems, typical career workers pay for about 5% of the cost of their pension benefits. They receive an average of $1.7 million to $3.6 million.
Cullerton and House Speaker Mike Madigan have held office in the Illinois General Assembly for nearly 90 years combined.
According to recent data, Illinois spends nearly double the national average on pensions, measured as a percentage of all state and local government spending.
Illinois’ 101st General Assembly can be leaders in pension reform by passing a constitutional amendment that allows for changes to future, unearned benefits.
The average six-figure retiree contributed just over $160,000 toward their own pension over the course of their career.
Former lawmakers receive generous benefits from the state’s worst-run retirement fund.
Pension reform is a moral imperative. The alternative is a future in which core services are cut, taxes are raised, and pensioners risk losing what they’ve already been promised as the funds go insolvent.